A little bit of my life just passed away…

Sir-Terry-Pratchett-PatronI was devastated earlier today at the announcement of the death of Sir Terry Pratchett.

I remember having the best time reading “The Colour of Magic” as a 16 year old. I’d never read a book quite like it, especially since it was a fantasy book that poked fun at other fantasy books that I loved (I was a huge fan of the Dragonriders series, for example) without resorting to some of the more ‘obvious’ humour of other authors of the time, such as Piers Anthony.

Whilst, as a teenager I could only afford the paperback editions, I eagerly awaited every new book (and we didn’t have long to wait in those days) and spent many hours reading and chatting with mates about the latest ‘Pratchett’ in the 6th Form common room during free periods and breaks.

Like many, I think my first favourite book was ‘Mort’, (Let’s face it, how many of us loved the character of Death ever since he uttered that immortal line “DARK IN HERE, ISN’T IT”, or still better “I COULD MURDER A CURRY”). Many people loved ‘Wyrd Sisters’ immediately – I didn’t really like that one until a few years later.

Guards-Guards-coverOne of my most vivid memories of first reading a ‘Pratchett’ novel was the time I read ‘Guards! Guards!’ whilst travelling to work on the train from Kidderminster to Birmingham. The book was (and still is) laugh-out-loud funny, and I got a lot of very strange looks from fellow passengers as I would read a couple of pages and then fight in vain to stifle my laughter, eventually finishing the journey with tears running down my face.

His books became a ‘must buy on day of publication’, and the  ‘Discworld’ series especially has remained my firm favourite over the years. Everyone has their favourite characters – mine are Death and the City Watch.

I only managed to hear him speak once, at the Birmingham Science Fiction and Fantasy club (then run from the famous Andromeda Bookshop) in 1991 when he toured to promote ‘Reaper Man’ coming out in paperback. He was hugely entertaining and engaging (and not a little self deprecating) –  the copy of ‘Reaper Man’ that he signed at the end of the evening is still in my ‘most treasured possessions’.

Most of us would hope that we would leave this world the better for us being in it. Terry Pratchett made a huge difference to my life, as well as the life of millions of others of his readers.

RIP Sir Terry. Thank you for the years of untold fun and laughter, but (as with the best fantasy fiction) the edge to make us think.

The last words his Twitter feed

“AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.”

“Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.”

“The End.”

10 Comments on A little bit of my life just passed away…

  1. Reblogged this on Mephiston's Wargame blog and commented:
    All I can say is ditto…

  2. Reblogged this on Root around in the Warchest.

  3. To be able to touch so many lives in such a positive way is indeed a great use of time in this world. Terry Pratchett has left a mark that the greatest would be proud of.

  4. mcdouglas2015 // March 12, 2015 at 21:37 // Reply

    Nicely said Sir, I’m glad you got the opportunity to meet him.

  5. Thanks to a friend, I’ve just recently rediscovered his books (especially the Vimes volumes) after reading a couple of them when at school. I was blown away by how good they are. Very sad to hear of his passing away.

  6. unlike Neil I never got a chance to meet Sir Terry, but his books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I took the decision 5 years ago to stop reading his new books when they came out (although I still brought them on release day) as I knew this day would come and I wanted to have new stories of his to read after his death. I guess its time to pick up something from the unread pile and travel back into discworld

    or maybe I’ll start from the beginning again and take the longer path

    • Though I had lots of other things I could have been doing last night, I found myself reading ‘The Colour of Magic’ again – it was like getting re-aquainted with an old friend.

      I think my other reading may be ‘on hold’ for a while (will I ever finish Game of Thrones?)

      • mcdouglas2015 // March 16, 2015 at 22:28 //

        If I had time to read Game of Thrones I would…..read Lord of the Rings instead!!

  7. That last tweet was pure class to the very end and beyond.

    Cheers

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